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  1. #1

    Default Prophet and Loss: Is Pat Robertson’s ‘Silent Partner’ pulling out?

    The e-zine Radar Online has published an interesting feature by Matt Thompson on Pat Robertson and his recent “litany of business failures.” Here’s an excerpt:
    To hear Pat Robertson tell it, the Lord is something of a micromanager. Whether it’s with Florida hurricanes, 9/11, or Ariel Sharon’s stroke, Robertson’s God is always intervening in the affairs of mankind, dispensing vigilante justice to his enemies and rewarding the faithful with natural disaster protection and cash prizes. But as viewers of the 700 Club are well aware, it’s not just acts of war or nature that are taking up His time. In spare moments, the Creator has taken a personal interest in the financial affairs of the preacher himself.

    Over the years, the former presidential candidate earned a reputation as a savvy deal broker with a wide network of interlocking businesses and charities. The high point of his career came in 1997, with the $1.9 billion sale to Fox of the International Family Entertainment Network, a for-profit venture built with charitable donations from his flock. In the past decade, the televangelist has leveraged this divine payout to shore up the many institutions that depend on him for their survival. Groups like the 700 Club, Christian Broadcast Network, Regent University, Operation Blessing, and the American Center for Law and Justice receive millions of dollars from viewers who are exhorted daily by the preacher to send in their blessed checks (CBN alone took in $160.8 million in public donations last year).

    But without an adequate financial safety net, when Pat goes, so too will his empire. Anxious to preserve his legacy, in recent years the 76-year-old entrepreneur has made a series of dubious investments backed by an unholy cabal of business partners. And despite his best efforts, losses continue to mount. Unless his luck improves soon, Robertson may have to confront an unwelcome existential question: After years of heavenly collaboration, has his lifelong Silent Partner finally pulled out of the deal?
    You can read the rest here, which includes a recounting of “his more memorable failures.”

    For such a high-profile “representative” of Christ, what sort of message does this send to non-Christians — the very people a televangelist is supposed to be “winning for the Lord”? And, since Robertson himself has repeated tied bad occurences and natural disasters with judgments of God, as the story above points out, how then should we interpret Robertson’s favor with “the Lord” given some of these business disasters of his?

    I would hope, at the very least, that financial contributors would take Robertson’s business dealings and who he’s decided to do business with into consideration before committing their hard-earned dollars (and in the case of so many senior retirees, part of their limited fixed-income) to his ministry, given his propensity to use charitable funds to support unwise and dubious business ventures.

    (Originally posted on my blog)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Prophet and Loss: Is Pat Robertson’s ‘Silent Partner’ pulling out?

    111...His followers don't have enough intelligence to stop sending in their donations...They are likely the same seniors that send 5K to Jamaica after winning the lottery

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